[4 February 2008]
Yoshitoshi Montreal is an ode that plays like an exercise. The object of its affection is the titular metropolis, Canada’s own “Sin City”. The artist paying tribute is Sultan, a local DJ who has helped cultivate his home’s thriving dance scene since 2000. Sultan’s seven EPs, many remixes, and lengthy tours—during ‘07 he touched down in Asia, Australia, and both continental Americas—exemplify his energetic devotion to craft and country. But on his latest, he goes crosswise. The beats simply don’t spring to life. Yoshitoshi’s tiring stream of glitzy, bince-bince thumps makes Montreal out to be a clichéd and indistinct party locale. Throughout the 14 originals and remixes, Sultan brings scant variation. His rhythms are boringly streamlined and mechanical, and might be better suited to score a choreographed trance than vigorous dancing. By the end, Montreal survives with its hot rep intact while Sultan’s takes a couple blows.